Thursday, May 21, 2009

Junta Links Free Eye Treatment to 2010 Election

The Irrawaddy News

The Burmese military government is linking free medical treatment for rural people to 2010 election politics, according to sources in Mandalay and Sagaing divisions.

In recent years, senior generals and officials regularly toured areas across the country to promote free treatment of eye diseases by visiting eye specialists from Rangoon and Mandalay.

Maj-Gen Khin Maung Myint, the minister for Electricity (1) and Construction, recently arrived in Sagaing Division in upper Burma to launch an eye-treatment program and campaign for the 2010 general election.

“Maj-Gen Khin Maung Myint arrived in Sagaing, where he told people lining up for free services that they should look carefully and clearly chose the right candidates from the military in the 2010 election,” according to a local resident, who said an estimated 4,000 people came to get treatment.

A resident in Sagaing Township said the government medical team treated eye diseases from May 18-20 in Sagaing District Hospital.

Khin Maung Myint is also in charge of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) in Sagaing District. The USDA, a government-backed civil organization, is expected to form a proxy party to contest the 2010 elections, according to USDA sources.

The USDA played a key role in monitoring and organizing the national referendum on the constitution in May last year.

Meanwhile, sources said that Kyaw Hsan, the minister for information, recently toured Pale Township in Sagaing Division on a similar medical-political campaign among local people.

Other senior generals and officials also have begun making visits to rally support for the 2010 election in their respective areas across the country.

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